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Introduction Domestic violence against women is a serious and widespread problem that is just not confined to the UK as Heise et al 1994 indicates that between 20 to 50 per cent of women in most countries experience spousal abuse at least once in their lives During 1995 almost one third of 4967 women murdered in the United States were killed by their boyfriend or husbands Nor does domestic violence stop at mere physical abuse but can include sexual verbal spiritual emotional or longer lasting psychological abuse that can cause a broad range of health problems including full mental breakdowns A study by Stark and Flitcroft 1991 suggests that domestic violence may be the single most important cause of female suicides especially among black and pregnant women Domestic violence also contributes to the reason why 63 per cent of young men between the ages of 11 and 20 yrs who are serving time for homicide killed their mothers abusers For the purpose of this essay I will concentrate on exploring the issues surrounding the question why do men abuse and due to word limit I will concentrate on spousal abuse and the causes and variables that contribute to domestic violence These causes will include patriarchy social structural perspective cycle of violence and alcohol Definition Domestic violence to women is commonly referred to simply as domestic violence but for clarity during this essay I will use the terms domestic violence and abuse interchangeably to refer to violence against women The term domestic violence is also a confusing term It covers many types of abuse and not just acts of physical abuse as physical violence is usually but one aspect of a now well documented pattern of abuse which may include verbal threats intimidation sexual abuse psychological abuse physical and social isolation economic deprivation and the like Dobash and Dobash 1980 Nor does there
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